MOORINGS AT THE ROSEMARY LANE CANAL BRIDGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

We recently had a lunch booked at a canal-side pub, but one of our friends was sick and had to cancel. As it was a bright day, we decided to have some lunch and then go for a walk. Due to a miscalculation on my part, the walk was a bit longer than intended and we arrived back to the car, at the pub car-park, as the sun was beginning to get low in the sky – reflecting off the boats collecting at their winter moorings. I thought that it might be worth painting

This bridge has changed over the years. It was a favourite location of the art group I ran and and was the subject of some plein air painting in the summer – allowing for a drink at the pub afterwards. You can see in an earlier painting of mine – which I posted a long time ago – that there was a magnificent willow tree which stood at one side – though I think the removal of the ivy has been an improvement.

Other canal paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Regular readers will probably know I have been banging on about revisiting old paintings in preparation for upcoming workshops and demos I have been asked to do. Trial runs leave you with a painting that you can exhibit, which is a great side product and one I am certainly in need of. This is because I have overcommitted to two solo exhibitions and a group show from November onwards, which at times are running concurrently. I need frames and more paintings. The frames have been ordered and I am making some late additions to the paintings.

Here is one. I’ve posted a version before, but this time I did it in a long format – mainly because I have a few spare long format frames and not much to put in them. It is of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at a small town called Burscough – north of Liverpool.

It was a lovely morning, well worth getting up at 5am for and I remember doing a couple of paintings in the warm sun before being regaled by a musician who complained for a good half hour, as I worked, about payments for gigs – or the lack of payment, as I recall. I told him to take up painting: then he would really have something to complain about.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

NARROWBOATS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another old painting. I sold this to my gardener who also came along to the art group I ran after he was telling me that the teacher at the art group, he originally went to, didn’t turn up one afternoon because he had fallen asleep after lunch. I advised him to join our group where he would get help and advice for free from the other members. He saw me painting this at one of our sessions and asked to buy it.

Other canal and narrowboat paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

NEW LANE BRIDGE BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

An old painting from 2006. I sold this at an exhibition we put on in our local Birkdale Library. The library is now a housing estate, but a group decided to resurrect the Birkdale Library and it is now housed in the old stationmaster’s house at our local station ( I posted a painting of a train in the Birkdale station recently). My next door neighbour is heavily involved in the project and I was helping him build a bookcase for the library over the weekend. I think he regretted taking on the project as it was a large complex piece, not helped by non-parallel walls of the old building and a router blade that slipped during cutting out the joints.

I think I’ll stick to painting.

Other canal scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN MOORINGS AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have had a version of this painting around for a while and while I have found the market for canal scenes has diminished over the years, sales do manage a slow trickle. I decide that the reason why my earlier version of this had remained unsold was the overcomplicated reflections in the foreground. So I set about this aspect and made some other minor modifications in readiness for our upcoming exhibition.

I do particularly like the reflected light that seems to come up from under the bridge. I remember sitting on the canal bank painting a plein air version of this in the late summer sun a few years ago. The memory makes me restless for some more early morning painting – it will soon be warm enough.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

CANAL SCENE AND LANDSCAPE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

I have just realised that it will soon be February, when I have two painting demonstrations to do. One request is for a canal scene, and this is what I intend to demonstrate. It is a painting I did in 2008 and at the moment I am working out how to best complete the painting in an hour and half. For me, it is a question of getting the order right, so the audience isnt sitting around whilst you mix colours, and there is quite a bit of mixing here to get the water effects. I also need to ensure to emphasise the points I want to raise.

The second demonstration was picked for me by the art club that engaged me. It is of a field of poppies I did more recently.

It isnt a painting I would select if I had a choice. There is a lot of texture in the foreground field that I did in a very haphazard manner, at the time – feeling my way through. I used masking fluid in the painting. Again I want to avoid delays, so I may need to get the hair dryer out to avoid waiting for the masking fluid to dry. Other techniques are a little faster – I did some scraping back and and finally resorted to gouache when all my options were used up. Again, I am working through this to find the best order needed to present it in a coherent way.

After all this I’ll need a holiday and yesterday I ordered some Egyptian pounds for a two week cruise down the Nile at the end of February. Hopefully we will get to go this time – this is the second attempt.

I will be taking my sketch book.

Other landscapes and canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last week I was out, early morning, by the canal painting. As I was scouring the canal footpath, looking for suitable subjects, I saw the scene above. Without room to sit, I took some photos and painted this when I got home.

The sketches I did manage didnt have the same impact and I rather regretted not making myself a nuisance by sitting painting on the path.

With this view, above, I think I liked the light on the big tree as much as anything else.

Here, you can see the morning has got into its stride. The white of the boat immediately caught my attention and in the background the hawthorn berries gave some welcome complementary to the greens.

Whilst I sat and painted, a guy came to talk to me. He was a musician and certainly got my sympathy regarding the problems he had with the effects of both covid and music streaming on opportunities and income. Trouble was he spent twenty five minutes on this subject – so it slowed me down somewhat.

When I was putting together this article I thought it might reawaken the Troll who whose cowardly sneering peaks at the sight of canal art and who has been silent of late.

Wrong again. OCD Troll raged similarly against my last post – a seaside scene. So much so. that they sent two mouth frothing messages yesterday :

This is in no way ART!!….it is pure s***e!

And then twenty minutes later:

Pure crap.

Well the art was sold, Troll – yes art ( Troll’s ignorant of art history – what chance have I got?) to an artist, actually.

Other art is available for sale – even to Trolls – on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com – that’s right, Troll, FINE ART. And I’ll be putting it out for a good while longer.

PILLING LANE BRIDGE, LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Looking through an old sketchbook I saw a version of this done on a sunny morning a few years ago and thought it might be worth working up. I tried to repeat it as directly as I could without the overpainting and overworking I did originally as you can see in the sketch I posted in May of 2018.

Other canal scenes are available for sale at very reasonable prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

ROSEMARY LANE CROSSES THE CANAL – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This is from some photos I took last year. Almost a year ago, as the field of bright yellow rapeseed testifies. Here a view of the Leeds to Liverpool canal and one of its many bridges in the village of Haskayne on the Lancashire Plain. Makes me itchy to get out on the bike and start painting in the spring sunshine.

Other local scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SLOW GLIDE INTO A SUMMER’S DAY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another canal painting. I liked the dark form of the narrowboat melding into the bridge in shadow. There was also a lot of foliage and I tried applying paint to sprayed water to get lost and found edges. It took a few goes to build up the volume. Because of all the green I introduced some warms to break the monotony, though not too much as the subdued colour range pulls out the central figure and hopefully focusses the eye on the detail.

Just another day on the canal.

Other canal scenes are available on my website for sale: grahammcquadefineart.com